My Co-Author

Scout’s dreaming up new ideas. Every now and then I read a paragraph to her, and she provides feedback. She’s not big on the mushy stuff, but she adores the nude jugglers.

In case you wondered, the towel was heated in the dryer for Scout’s comfort. She often sits in front of the dryer, requesting a warm towel, and I always acquiesce. I’m a well-trained human.

Peace, people.

On the Banks of the Lee

There’s a song that’s been on my mind lately. I’d discovered it on a cd of Celtic music many years back. When I taught a group of rambunctious (that’s the kindest word I could think of) fourth graders one year, I found that this particular song calmed us all. The students asked for it again and again, and I’d play it over and over while they worked independently. So, why couldn’t I remember the title?

I figured the cd had been lost in one of our many moves, but still I combed through my entire collection in search of the one with That Song. I could hear the melody in my head, but no lyrics. Finally, I discovered it in a box labeled “Misc. Classroom Stuff,” and I did a happy dance.

The song, a haunting Irish tune called “On the Banks of the Lee” tells the tale of two lovers forever parted. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking and there are so many versions out there that it was difficult for me to choose just one to share.

As you listen to Jesse Ferguson’s rendition, imagine a group of unruly ten-year-olds, mostly boys, some who just barely spoke English and were not happy being stuck in a classroom on a late summer day, sitting and working while under the spell of this song. I still credit it for our good test scores at the end of that year.

https://youtu.be/G2mtCCUyvSY

Jesse Ferguson

Peace, people!

Fever

Last night I went to bed early. I didn’t feel well and after taking my temperature realized I was running a slight fever. I NEVER run a fever. My normal is 97.8 and even on my sickest days it barely rises to 98; however, last night it was up to 99.2. Not enough to be worrisome, but enough to make me feel rotten.

So I blew Studly Doright a kiss goodnight and made myself a nest in one of the guest bedrooms where I was alternately hot, then cold, then hot again for much of the night. Only after my fever broke was I able to sleep. Amazingly, this morning I felt fine.

Of course, being the hypochondriac that I am, I was certain I had contracted Covid-19, even though I never leave the house without a mask and am super careful about interactions with others.

Then Studly Doright cut his golf game short today because he didn’t feel well. I’ve seen him play eighteen holes on knees that were so bad he could barely walk from the cart to the ball, so for him to leave mid-game is telling.

After a nap and some homemade (okay, Campbell’s) chicken noodle soup, he’s feeling much better. Studly never ran a fever like me, but his stomach was rebelling.

The two of us seem to have gotten a bug of some kind. Hopefully it’s played itself out and we can get back to worrying about something else, like whether to watch college football or another episode of Dexter.

Peace, people!

https://youtu.be/JGb5IweiYG8

The Right Side of the Force

I just bought a new white helmet to go with my new white bike. Matching is extremely important to me.

But the more I look at this stark white helmet, the more I feel like I’m ready to play a stormtrooper.

Straight out of the Star Wars universe. But, I’m one of the good girls, right?

May the Force, and peace, be with you.

From my personal collection.

Vodka Soda

I think I’ve reached my lifetime wine limit. Or at least my limit for this year. Wine just doesn’t sound good right now. Weird, but true.

Instead, lately I’ve been treating myself to a vodka soda or two in the evening. They’re refreshing, come in a lot of interesting flavors, and low in calories. Last night I enjoyed a cool mint flavored soda by Canteen. It’s tasty.

If you’re thinking “Leslie had NOTHING to write about today,” you’re absolutely right. See, vodka is good for something.

Peace, people.

Blast from the Past

Studly Doright’s middle sister, Angie, sent us some old photos she found while cleaning out some boxes the other day. And when I say old, I mean OLD.

Here’s Studly and me dancing at the annual Sweethearts’ Ball in Dumas, Texas. The photo isn’t dated, but it must’ve been mid-80’s. At any rate, we were both still skinny.

When I first saw this photo I thought it was taken the same year that the one below was—after all, I’m wearing the same skirt and blouse. I’m thrifty like that. But I had that awful perm in the top photo. I think I should wear my hair like this again. All in favor, say aye.

From left: my sister-law, Angie, her husband Steve, my former brother-in-law, Don, then Studly Doright and me. My eldest sister-in-law, Lyn is seated in the middle.

The next photo cracked me up; my sense of style was a bit skewed. I have no memory of this horrid skirt, and why did I think that necklace would go well with this ensemble? And it looks as if I’m wearing a headband. I NEVER wore headbands. I know we were poor, but yikes! Maybe it was a tacky-themed party? Let’s hope I burned the whole shebang soon after.

There’s nothing like old photos to make one wince, is there?

Peace, people!

In Support of Hazel Eyes

Recently, it has been brought to my attention that brown eyes are not the most neglected eye color in music. That dubious honor goes to hazel eyes. More than one of my hazel-eyed readers reminded me of that. I thought maybe I should attempt to write such a song, but I’m no songwriter.

Maybe, though, there already are such songs, they just haven’t gotten appropriate notice. Thanks to google, I’ve found a multitude of such songs. Well, no, I found two with hazel eyes in the title.

Kelly Clarkson’s “Behind These Hazel Eyes” is really good. I suspect she, too, was upset by the lack of representation for her hazel-eyed sisters.

https://youtu.be/ivVZXZDPgmQ

Then, there’s the song, “Hazel Eyes,” by The Darkness.

https://youtu.be/MsjyQCTnDsI

I’d never heard of The Darkness, but thanks to “Hazel Eyes,” I’ve enjoyed listening to them this morning. According to Wikipedia, “The Darkness are a British rock band formed in Lowestoft, Suffolk, in 2000. The band consists of Justin Hawkins, his brother Dan Hawkins, Frankie Poullain and Rufus Tiger Taylor. The Darkness came to prominence with the release of their debut album, Permission to Land, in 2003.”

But there are songs that mention hazel eyes. Mark Wills, song “Because I Love You,” includes the following lyrics:

Additionally, In my search I stumbled onto Lyrics.com, a site that finds specific words in songs. It seems hazel eyes do get mentioned now and then!

Unsurprisingly, blue eyes get the most mentions.

That’s just way too many, right?

Green eyes are a distant second:

With brown eyes in an even more distant third place.

Undoubtedly, hazel eyes don’t receive nearly enough attention, and yet, they’re lovely.

Peace, hazel-eyed people.

Brown Eyed Girls

My eyes are brown. Before my eyelids began drooping my eyes were big and beautiful. Now, they’re just plain—hardly noticeable behind my glasses.

Someone once told me my eyes were my best feature. I took that as a compliment until I realized that the eyes are pretty much EVERYONE’s best facial feature. I mean, a mouth could be, I guess, but the eyes provide color and sparkle and personality. Without the eyes, what do you have left? Not much to talk about, that’s what.

Again, my eyes are brown, and I’ve always felt like brown eyes get ignored in songs. As I’ve listened to hour upon hour of country music over the past three months doing research for my little romance novel, I’ve been bombarded by tales of men hankering for blue eyed girls and green eyed girls, but not a single mention of a brown eyed girl in popular country music as far as I can tell.

But, what about music as a whole? Are there brown eyed girls in those songs? We all know Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl”. It is, for obvious reasons, one of my favorites.

https://youtu.be/UfmkgQRmmeE

Interestingly enough, though, the original title of Morrison’s song was “Brown Skinned Girl!” Damn.

A song from my childhood, “Birds and the Bees” specifically mentions big brown eyes. I always imagined it had been written just for me. Of course at the time I thought we were talking literally about birds and bees.

https://youtu.be/umyl-wWRkJ4

A google search of songs about brown eyes turned up a few more. Actually, quite a few more. There are a couple of redundancies, but brown eyes do get some attention. And Crystal Gale’s “Don’t it Make My Brown Eyes Blue” is arguably a country song.

I’ll not rest, though, until brown eyes take their place alongside the blues and greens of this world. It’s my new mission in life.

Peace, people!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Serial Killer

Studly Doright and I have been watching “Dexter” on Netflix. We’re just finishing season 2. The show is gory and sexy and yes, darkly amusing. Dexter is a serial killer, but he only kills serial killers. And he’s killed a bunch of them.

Michael C. Hall plays Dexter. He’s also a forensics specialist for the Miami police department. That makes his “hobby” as a serial killer both easier and more difficult. He has access to the inner workings of the police department, but he also has to watch every move he makes lest his off duty habits raise suspicion amongst his highly observant peers.

The supporting cast is great: Jennifer Carpenter as Debra Morgan, Dexter’s sister, Luna Lauren Vélez, as Maria LaGuerta, a tough and loyal department captain, the gorgeous, yet troubled Erik King, as Sgt. Doakes. The lovable David Zayas, as Angel Batista, and sweet Julie Benz, as Rita Bennett, Dexter’s girlfriend.

One would think that a serial killer wouldn’t engender feelings of sympathy. Honestly, we should be hoping that Dexter gets caught, but episode after episode we root for him, hoping he’ll evade the authorities and live to kill another day.

Maybe we don’t want him to continue killing, but we don’t want him to be discovered either. If Dexter dies, there’s no more series, and the series is so blooming good.

I don’t recommend “Dexter” unless you have a strong stomach, and a perverse sense of humor. Apparently, I have both.

Peace, people.

December-December Romance

I was telling Studly Doright about my recent blog posts dealing with songs featuring younger men in relationships with older women. He’d never heard the term May-December romance.

“That’s us,” he said, when I finished my explanation.

“That’s not at all us,” I countered.

“Sure it is. You’re way older than I am.”

To be fair, I’m a year and almost two months older than my husband. Certainly not enough to make our 44 year relationship earn the May-December designation, but try telling that to Studly.

At any rate, my blogging friend, author, Shehanne Moore, shehannemoore.wordpress.com, turned me on to another song written about a younger man involved with an older woman. “Desiree” by Neil Diamond fits the bill even if the lyrics were somewhat censored.

https://youtu.be/JHmPRISYB6k

According to Shehanne, “…the words, ‘Became a man at the hands of a woman who was twice my age,’ were changed to ‘Became a man at the hands of a woman who was wise and sage….’ Which does not have quite the same raunch and ring.”

I agree! Why’d they feel the need to change perfectly awesome lyrics? Confession: I’m not a huge Neil Diamond fan, but I listened to “Desiree” for research purposes this morning, and it does meet the May-December theme even in its sanitized version.

Okay, now I’m sure there are more similarly themed songs out there. It’s not like I know everything after all, even though I pretend to on occasion. I’ll just have to keep looking.

Peace, people!